Why statewide elections are important

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Voting is one of the greatest ways for citizens to establish influence over elected officials. While the presidential race always draws a lot of attention, participating in local statewide politics is the best way to become politically active. Politicians are concerned primarily with the most vocal elements of their constituencies, while groups of people who do not vote tend to receive less attention. This ultimately translates into less power for non-voters to affect the development of public policy in accordance with their own private interests. Voting gives citizens a voice in the government, allowing them to choose leaders and decide on issues. Some elections are very close, so each vote matters in every election.

It’s scary to think that a state can pass laws and implement programs without the approval of the majority of its citizens. Even then, when a law is passed that citizens don’t like, they can still vote against it, which can be easily done at the state and particularly the local level. Yet most Americans still refuse to vote in state and local elections. There’s no place where your voice can be heard more than in your own backyard, so bypassing state and local elections because you may think one vote can’t make a difference is just short-sighted.

On Nov. 8, it’s more than the White House at stake. Those who vote will determine the makeup of the next Connecticut General Assembly. This is especially important to us as state employees, as these are the folks who will have a major say in our next contract! Please see AFT CT's list of endorsed candidates to give you a sense of who is most likely to stand up for working families. If you’re not sure which district you are in, use this online tool.

While voting does not guarantee that the policy a person supports will ultimately be adopted, not voting promotes no chance at all. Voting is one of the most cherished rights in a free society. To vote is to celebrate this way of life! Remember that voting, still today, is denied to many around the world. Voting is our civic responsibility!

Polling locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. across the state on Nov 8.  The Secretary of the State has a voter registration lookup on her website to find your polling place.  Be sure to check with the registrar of voters in your town if you have any questions about your eligibility to vote or if you need additional assistance.

--Robin Washington Addison, VP for Political Activities